Bristol

Dewani driver Zola Tongo 'staged South Africa hijacking'

Shrien Dewani Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Shrien Dewani denies arranging the murder of his wife

A taxi driver convicted of killing Anni Dewani has told a court of the moment his vehicle was involved in a staged hijacking in South Africa.

Zola Tongo conspired with two others to murder Mrs Dewani, 28, a Swedish national, during her honeymoon in 2010.

Tongo said Shrien Dewani offered him about $2,100 (£1,340) to set up the carjacking and the court was shown CCTV of both men together the following day.

Mr Dewani denies arranging the murder of his wife.

Tongo had recruited Xolile Mngeni and Mziwamadoda Qwabe to carry out Mrs Dewani's killing in a staged hijacking, Western Cape High Court was told.

As he was driving the Dewanis through Gugulethu township, the car was hijacked by men with guns.

"The lady was crying," Tongo said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Shrien and Anni Dewani were on honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010 when she was killed

"There is nothing that I can remember what she said. Mr Dewani was trying to console her.

"We were told to bow down and to put our heads down. We did that. We proceeded driving on that road, we arrived behind Gugulethu barracks where there is a stop sign.

"As we had decided from the beginning that I would be the first person to be put out the car and the gentleman would be next. It happened like that at the stop sign. The door was opened from outside by Xolile.

"They left me next to the road and they continued and turned right."

The court was shown CCTV of Mr Dewani meeting taxi driver Zola Tongo the morning after Mrs Dewani was murdered.

The video was taken by a camera in the hotel lounge where the Dewanis were spending their honeymoon.

The footage showed Mr Dewani entering the room as Tongo sat on a sofa - the time in the corner of the picture read a few minutes after nine o'clock.

White plastic bag

Tongo pointed out that a member of hotel staff, who could be seen in the film cleaning a window, was asked by Mr Dewani to let him and Tongo have some privacy. The footage showed Mr Dewani talking to the man, who then left the lounge.

Tongo told the court Mr Dewani had asked him "if the job had been done".

The court was also shown another clip from CCTV footage, where Mr Dewani was carrying a white plastic bag. He is followed by Tongo into a room with no camera. The CCTV film then shows Mr Dewani emerging without the bag.

Tongo claims he was being paid for organising Anni Dewani's murder.

Earlier on Tuesday, gay escort Leopold Leisser was allowed to resume giving evidence after the relevance of his testimony was questioned on Monday.

But this was halted a short time later when the judge ruled all discussions of a sexual nature were inadmissible.

He said the prosecution could only ask when the two men met and had contact.

Mr Leisser, also known as the German Master and who offers fetish services, had contacted a media outlet for which he was paid £18,000, the court heard.

The prosecution argues Mr Dewani was leading a secret double-life and wanted out of his marriage, so arranged a staged hijacking in which he escaped and his wife was killed.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Mziwamadoda Qwabe has already been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the murder of Anni Dewani

Xolile Mngeni was sentenced to life in prison for Mrs Dewani's murder but died in prison, while Mziwamadoda Qwabe was sentenced to 25 years.

Tongo was sentenced to 18 years following a plea bargain

The trial continues.

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